- New PhD scholarships in Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick available to UK and EU students, thanks to £1,350,000 from Leverhulme Trust
- Scholars will receive transdisciplinary training: expertise from different academic faculties, as well as mentorship from front line organisations, such as UN Habitat
- Researchers will be trained to be "as comfortable analysing data on human-environment interactions as liaising with governments and empowering communities" -- Professor João Porto de Albuquerque
The next generation of global sustainable development researchers is set to emerge thanks to a new kind of ‘transdisciplinary’ PhD programme at the University of Warwick for UK and EU students — made possible by £1,350,000 from the Leverhulme Trust.
Starting from Autumn 2021, eighteen doctoral scholars over the following three years will enter the new four-year PhD programme in Global Sustainable Development, led by Warwick’s Institute for Global Sustainable Development and the Department of Global Sustainable Development in the School for Cross-Faculty Studies.
They will be trained in how to advance sustainability in the real world, getting to the root of huge challenges like boosting climate resilience and establishing healthier cities.
Each doctoral scholar will receive academic supervision from two Warwick experts in separate fields (such as engineering, medicine, business, humanities, arts, and law), as well as mentorship from a partner organisation (such as UN-Habitat, the British Geological Survey, African Population and Health Research Centre).
This novel form of transdisciplinary research — combining diverse academic knowledge with practical experience from professionals working on the ground — is generally not provided in existing PhD programmes, and is set to foster a fresh form of global sustainable development research that is challenge-led and comprehensively skilled.
The research will be focused on the following themes:
- Climate resilience and socio-environmental justice
- Sustainable urbanisation, health and wellbeing
- Sustainable economies and the Food-Water-Energy Nexus
The doctoral scholarship programme is called ‘TRANSFORM: Transformations of Human-Environment Interactions to Sustainable Development’.
It will be managed by Professor João Porto de Albuquerque, who is also the Director of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick. He said:
“COVID-19 has exposed the enormous scale of interlinked global crises that face us, from the climate emergency to growing health and income inequality. It is clear that the status quo of social, economic and environmental conditions cannot continue; we must rather rebuild society in a greener, fairer, and more sustainable way.
“The pandemic has also shown us that when we collaborate, at a local and at an international level, then we can overcome the greatest threats and challenges to human life.
“By drawing together a wealth of academic expertise from different disciplines, as well as the crucial knowledge of our partner organisations working on the front lines, we will fill in the fundamental gaps that currently exist in the complex world of global development — training researchers so that they are as comfortable analysing data on human-environment interactions as liaising with governments and empowering communities.
“I am delighted that, thanks to this funding from the Leverhulme Trust, Warwick will be a hub of transdisciplinary researchers establishing the next generation of leaders in collaborative Global Sustainable Development.”
Professor Pam Thomas, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Warwick, said:
“We at Warwick pride ourselves on a long-standing practice of interdisciplinary research between different academic faculties, as well our established collaborations with business, industry, and policy-makers — all of which ensures that our shared knowledge and experience have a positive and direct impact on real lives.
“Sustainability is also at the heart of our University Strategy over the next period of our future: from developing a greener campus, to addressing the climate crisis and social inequalities through our research. Thanks to this funding from the Leverhulme Trust, we can continue to forge innovative ways of teaching and learning, which will equip us with new tools to tackle ever-changing global sustainability challenges.”
For information on how to apply for the ‘TRANSFORM’ Doctoral Fellowship, click here.
Image of Professor João Porto de Albuquerque -- click for higher res.
The Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD) is a community of researchers from across the University of Warwick, committed to delivering world-leading research around global sustainable development.
IGSD’s vision is to be at the forefront of knowledge creation that enables transformations towards a more sustainable, prosperous, healthier and just world for all. It undertakes world-leading transdisciplinary research and capacity development to tackle global challenges and enable transformative change of human-environment interactions. It also provides support to the Warwick research community to meaningfully and responsibly engage with global sustainable development challenges.
More information on the three thematic axes of the PhD in Global Sustainable Development:
This cluster draws on Warwick’s expertise in areas such as complex systems modelling, geographic information and critical research on environmental justice, enabling students to investigate transformations of human-environment interactions towards resilience to climate change and environmental risks.
This cluster concentrates on research for transforming urban human-environment interactions, investigating the interlinkages between the built environment, human behaviour and health and wellbeing outcomes.
This cluster draws on Warwick’s research excellence in sustainable materials, critical data studies, business strategy and food supply systems, in order to enable students to study transformations to the food-water-energy nexus towards sustainable economic and financial relationships.
For more information about the PhD in Global Sustainable Development at the School for Cross-faculty Studies: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/schoolforcross-facultystudies/gsd/prospectivestudents/postgraduate/
The Global Sustainable Development (GSD) Department hosts 12 BASc undergraduate degrees, the first undergraduate programmes of their kind in the United Kingdom, and has recently launched an MASc degree and PhD programme for September 2021 entry. All courses in the GSD Department lead to action and inspire students to enact positive change. Academic staff in GSD are drawn from a variety of disciplines across the humanities, social sciences and scientific fields. All are passionate about defining, investigating and exploring solutions to the issues which are of vital importance to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of society.
The School for Cross-faculty Studies is home to the University’s increasing range of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary degree programmes. The unique set up of the school, dedicated to cross-faculty studies, allows staff and students to cut across disciplinary boundaries to research and investigate innovative solutions to global challenges. The School consists of three divisions: Global Sustainable Development (GSD), Liberal Arts, and the Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD). All three divisions are involved in the new GSD postgraduate programmes.
The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 the Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, currently distributing £100 million each year. For more information about the Trust, please visit www.leverhulme.ac.uk and follow the Trust on Twitter @LeverhulmeTrust
15 December 2020